Corsair Carbide Series 400R Reviewairman - September 1, 2011
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When it comes to shopping for a new case, the myriad of available choices and features is always incredibly expansive. While some cases can be obtained for as little as $30 or $40, others require upwards of $300 and $400 for something that, in general, accomplishes the same task. Of course, the price premium usually results in larger sizes, better build quality, additional features, ease of use, or other bells and whistles. In the last few years, Corsair has delved into producing a large variety of computer components – starting with power supplies, they have also moved towards cases and SSDs. I can't particularly speak for Corsair's power supplies or SSDs, but I have had positive experiences with their computer cases – recently, I've reviewed Corsair’s Obsidian Series 650D and Graphite Series 600T. While both cases were in the category of mid-towers, their size was teetering on the verge of being standard full-towers. Overall, I enjoyed testing both of those cases, so I am excited to take a look at another recent development from Corsair, the Carbide Series 400R – a mid-tower case that is much smaller than their previous products.
The Corsair Carbide Series 400R shares a lot of the same features as its more expensive counterparts, but is concentrated into a smaller package at a cheaper cost for the buyer. Like the Graphite Series 600T cases, it offers some serious airflow with an expansion capability of up to ten fans. Although it does not feature removable hard drive cages or other doodads like the Carbide Series 500R, Corsair gives your ample room to manage 316mm (12”) PCI devices with no problem. You can also expect the Carbide Series 400R to offer full SSD support, front panel USB 3.0 headers, Corsair's proven wire management, and a fully-painted interior. Available with either a black or white exterior, the Graphite Series 400R appears to be a feature-rich case for those on a budget. Without further ado, let's get started with this review! (Hey, that rhymed – I'm a poet and didn't even know it.)
Just like their other cases, Corsair packages the Carbide Series 400R in a box with large print and case images exposed. However, the package is much smaller than the behemoths in which the Obsidian and Graphite arrived. On the front, we see a wireframe drawing of the case at an angled view, with "Carbide Series 400R" printed underneath. Also on the front, in several different languages, are paragraphs of information that describe some of case’s features. On the left and right side of the box, Corsair has listed numerical specifications of the case such as its dimensions, weight, expansion slots, and motherboard support. This is accompanied by a similar wireframe image, though of the left and front view. Turning to the rear, we see an exploded view of the product, clearly labelling each feature of the case and painting a wonderful picture of the included accessories. The method to which Corsair has developed this packaging is pure genius – it is cheap to produce, neglecting glossy printing or expensive artwork, but conveys even more information than the flashy boxes that we often see. On top of that, it still looks pretty good in its own regard.
Opening the box, we find the Carbide Series 400R case wrapped securely in a cellophane-like bag and sandwiched between two pieces of stiff foam. This is nothing new, as manufacturers have generally been packing cases using this method for as long as I can remember. From what I can tell from the outside, the Carbide Series 400R made it safely to my door.
Included inside the case, there is an accessory box that contains the usual pieces: screws, zip-ties, a warranty card, a Corsair product mini-brochure, and a quick start guide that goes over the basics of the case and its inner-workings. Upon first impressions, I feel that this case is a much more reasonable "mid-tower" as far as its size goes. I will be checking out the exterior of the case on the next page, alongside my thoughts and evaluations.